Article published In:Journal of Historical Pragmatics
Vol. 22:1 (2021) ► pp.96–120
The results of a previous study (Banks 2018) suggest that the development of scientific writing is more conservative in times of great turbulence. In an attempt to verify this, samples were taken from the Mémoires de l’Académie des Sciences and the Philosophical Transactions for the years 1735, 1785 and 1835. The development over the years 1735 to 1785 was compared to that between 1785 and 1835. Analysis of the grammatical functions and semantic categories of themes and of process types indicates that there is some evidence in favour of the conjecture that scientific writers are more conservative in times of turbulence. Whilst this is not conclusive, it suggests that further research would be fruitful.